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Assignment Outer Space


Published 1960
Topics Sci-Fi


From IMDb:
In the 21st century Ray Peterson, reporter for the Interplanetary News, is assigned to write a story aboard a space station. Tension mounts between Peterson and the station commander, who believes he is in the way, but has orders to leave him alone. Errant spaceship Alpha Two enters the solar system and its photon generators are radiating enough heat to destroy Earth as it approaches. It falls to Peterson to try to figure out a way to enter the spaceship, disarm the generators, and escape before suffocating.


Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


Reviews

Reviewer: sqTake2 - - February 28, 2012
Subject: Antonio Margheriti's First Film
This is the first feature film by my favorite of the classic era Italian genre directors, Antonio Margheriti or "Anthony M. Dawson". The film is very low budget using the production standards available at the time. Its effects and production design have not aged well beside five subsequent decades of film technology growth. Modern viewers looking for gloss will be disappointed, a fact not helped by the de-saturated poorly framed print that is at the end of the download links here.

It is however important historically in regards to Margheriti's subsequent career, and for fans of schlock movie entertainment is quite rewarding. One area that the film actually still excels in is portraying the potential claustrophobia a space traveler would face: the sets are constrained, uncomfortable looking and appear to be designed for function rather than esthetic appeal. You can do worse for 80 minutes of rocket ship models and guys in foil suits. Pass the popcorn.
Reviewer: Astaldo711 - - August 9, 2011
Subject: Too bad for camp
It's too bad to be campy and too bad to even fall into the category of "so bad it's good". I can remember being mildy amused watching them simulate weightlessness by just moving very slowly.
Reviewer: human - - February 26, 2011
Subject: A nice piece of fogotten nostalgia
I first saw this movie, or at least part of it, early one Saturday morning when I was six or seven years old. I thought it was pretty cool at the time, and over the years I would wonder what that movie was and whether it still existed. I'm glad to have finally seen it again, but now that I've solved the mystery, I'm ready just to let it be.
Reviewer: cosmico - - August 31, 2010
Subject: Sensawunda
I rate this higher than most. I first saw Assignment Outer Space on TV sometime in the mid-1960s, and while I've never been fond of dubbed foreign films (or any foreign films for that matter), it evoked a real "sensawunda" in a twelve-year-old sci-fi and space program geek.

Interestingly, this movie (dubbed from ITALIAN not JAPANESE by the way, oh "Bad Movie Fan") had a US theatrical release on the bottom half of a double-feature with The Phantom Planet, another space adventure (of much higher quality than this), a truly imaginative and delightful movie generally ridiculed by cynical, curmudgeonly, ignorant dullards.

Assignment Outer Space falls into a sub-category with other vintage foreign sci-fi films as First Spaceship on Venus and Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet, and is really no better or worse. Just different, interesting, and at times fun.

You can download this one and Phantom Planet, find the image online of the old double-feature poster, toss in some trailers and such, and make your own DVD. Sounds like a cool project to me!

Incidentally, the best reviews always give the background of a reviewer's experience with a film. Otherwise, it's academic and dry as dust.
Reviewer: Bad Movie Fan - - August 31, 2010
Subject: Good fun
This is a predictable soap opera set in space well into the future, and since it was dubbed from Japanese, it was extra funny.

It's sad that some folks think that Write a review on a movie page means review the movie and demean others who see things differently. Bitter, self-important or juvenile? I don't care. I just wish they'd get a grip.
Reviewer: skybandit - - August 31, 2010
Subject: Lost in translation
Like many Japanese films dubbed by Americans with no knowledge of science, it comes off as worse than it originally was. Flowers that change hydrogen to oxygen? Obviously meant to be carbon dioxide to oxygen, but they were more concerned with matching dialogue with the lip-movements of the actors than getting things right. This explains many of the strange turns-of-phrase you find in these foreign films.
By the way, "Galaxy M-12" was the name of the space station, which was never mentioned again in the rest of the film.
2 stars for bad dubbing, 5 stars for period SFX, -1 star for a meteoroid flaming in the vaccuum of space.
Reviewer: accalaurie49 - - August 30, 2010
Subject: Space Travel
What is he talking about in the beginning? He is assigned to travel to "Galaxy M 12"? M 12 is not a galaxy of it´s own but a globular cluster near our galaxy (according to wikipedia. I am no astronomer), but the reporter does not get so far away, he stays within our solar system. So this is only a silly sentence put into the script because the writers thought that nobody knew anything about distances in outer space.

Who cares? This is a flaw, there may be many others. Besides that this is a slightly interesting space opera, slow paced, at times boring, full of bad actors, but watchable.
Reviewer: Nikonwilly - - May 5, 2010
Subject: Fun Watch
It may be the distant future, but the acting is as bad as one could hope for.
The space jargon is remarkable and the Captains hard heart warms as the reporter and Lucy fall madly in love. The set design is actually quite good for such a bad"good" movie...enjoy.
Reviewer: Mister Curious - - May 4, 2010
Subject: Worth Seeing
Like many science fiction films that preceded actual manned space flight, this movie gets a lot of technical things wrong. However, it gets a lot of things right that other films failed to anticipate.
For example, can you think of other films that depicted trained career astronauts as being anything other than white males? In this film, Al, an experienced black astronaut who acts as a mentor to the visiting journalist, is described by the station commander as "the best there is." Al not only comes up with the solution for stopping the menacing spacecraft that threatens to end life on Earth, but he heroically sacrifices his own life to protect humanity.
The film also captured the feel of actual life in space: cramped quarters, cumbersome suits, airlocks, high-G accelerations, refueling, rigid regulations, and feelings of isolation.
Assignment: Outer Space might fall short of being a classic, but it is more authentic than most other science fiction films of its time.
Reviewer: Vance Capley - - September 29, 2008
Subject: Assignment Outer Space Soap Opera?
This was (WAS)a fine film for its time. It doesn't hold up too well today.
If there is anyway to blot out all sci-fi movies after 1962, you might be able to enjoy this.
Or if you drink a case of Mountain Dew....

Only when you have nothing else to do give this slow moving space soap opera a chance.
Reviewer: Dr. Morbius - - January 13, 2008
Subject: An interesting perspective on space travel...
This movie is very watchable if you put it in the proper flavor. Apparently it was a space opera, set far in the future, about a rogue spaceship coming back to burn up the surface of the earth with it's radiation field. The fun part is that even though today this movie is far in the future, they are using rocket ships with chemically fueled engines to travel great distances. Must be really big fuel tanks! By this time, I would think we would have better propulsion! But, it is fun to watch, the plot is good and the characters interact well. Download quality is very good, although the color is a little faded. Enjoy!
Reviewer: beirwer - - March 22, 2007
Subject: Doggie doo.
I couldn't even watch this reeker all the way through. I got about 2/3's and had the nods so bad I just erased it.
I can watch some pretty bad stuff and find *some* level to enjoy it on, but this wasn't any good at all. It's not so bad it's good, or fun, or funny. It was just a dry, boring waste of time.
Reviewer: Robin White - - March 21, 2007
Subject: Watch this movie in the context of the times in which it was made
This movie was made in the end of the 1950's and has release date of 1960. It was probably a very low budget movie. We have become used to very fancy special effects that did not exist at that time. There was an attempt to address social issues: the crew had an African American and a Woman in it. These were more naive times when technology was thought to be the answer to nearly every problem of the future. Don't we still believe that falsehood? Look at this movie as a social document of it's times and it becomes very interesting. The editing is quite good and the acting is good enough not to be laughable. Give it a try.
Reviewer: terracesider - - January 10, 2007
Subject: Earth in danger, again..
It probably had its moments but I cannot remember any of them. This is definitely one for lovers on so-bad-they-are-genius films.
Reviewer: billbarstad - - December 19, 2006
Subject: Good for laughs
Ooo, this is a stinker and it's fairly typical of the sci-fi films I saw as a kid. But if you enjoy laughing at and mocking really bad dialog in an impossibly silly space opera, this can be fun.

A reporter is sent on assignment to a satellite in orbit beyond the moon. Soon he is embroiled in a mission to save the Earth from a malfunctioned space ship that will destroy all life. Can the Earth be saved??

I downloaded the mpeg1 file. The color seems washed out, but the video is otherwise OK. The audio is good.
Reviewer: jimelena - - December 13, 2006
Subject: Outer space; not far enough
Can't they send this movie farther away than mere outer space?
But it's in color, probably a bad idea.
It would be more campy in black and white.
The narrater explains why they don't have special effects, but now why he over explains every little detail of the movie.
Don't bother unless bad movies are your thing.
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